Week 2 of Kindergarten

 A lot of homeschoolers do school four days a week so that they can save a day for field trips, co-op classes or other activities. We’re not planning on doing exactly that but we’re flexible so that we can participate in a lot of extras. After all, this is kindergarten…there’s not a lot of actual school work each day. This was our first time throwing in something extra.

Our local library had a princess story time with crafts. It was supposed to last an hour and it’s maybe a 5 minute drive from our house. Of course, nothing involving princesses and little girls is ever that short! We were gone for about 2 1/2 hours.  The girls had a blast and they were just adorable all dressed up. That took up most of the morning. We had a slow start to the day and I was going to skip our morning school routine completely but Storyteller was not happy at the thought of skipping math. I guess that’s a good sign! We did our math lesson and took off for the library.

The previous day she wanted to read more of the Sonlight stories so we finished up Tuesday’s readings knowing that the library would be our main focus that day. The girls are really getting into those books and we keep reading ahead. One of the books is called Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book by Howard Garis.  I’ve seen a lot of comments about this book because it seems to be a “love it or hate it” type of book. It is a collection of stories written in the early 1900s.   The language and rhythm of the stories are different than what we’re used to. Storyteller had a hard time understanding much from the first story.   We had to read it several times.  There are almost no pictures so she can’t figure out the story from looking at the book. After the first story her comprehension has improved greatly. I was surprised at first because she’ll sit and look at other books while I’m reading but sure enough she remembers the storyline and many of the details even though it looks like she’s not paying attention. I think it’s her favorite book so far.

Sonlight’s P4/5 comes with a set of four workbooks.  We’ve been slacking here because the worksheets focus on memory, concentration and following directions…all of which are hard to do with the distractions of a younger sister.  We did a few pages early in the week when we had some one-on-one time together and she did very well.  We tried a few on Friday with Comedian running around and it didn’t go too well.   I think this was the first time that she has done a graded activity like this.  She’s very much a perfectionist when it comes to arts and crafts type projects and I could see her start to panic when she realized that she answered something wrong.  We talked through it and she took it better than I expected.  I was really dreading this part of schooling.  I think it will be best to save these workbooks for when the little one isn’t running around.

We started using All About Reading Level 1 earlier in the summer. We wanted to use it as a way to get into the habit of “doing school” every day. But that never happened. Life got busy and even though she enjoyed it we didn’t do it nearly as often as we should have. We were on lesson 8 when we started our school year. About every other lesson has a fluency sheet with review words, new words, phrases and sentences. The instructions say that you should skip words with beginning readers so that they aren’t overwhelmed. Storyteller was very upset when she figured out that I was skipping words during an earlier lesson. She wants to do every single word and phrase even if it gets tiring and frustrating for her.  Lesson 8’s fluency sheet is quite long so it took us four days to get through it. We ended this week in the middle of lesson 10. First up for Monday is another fluency sheet but this one is even longer. Since struggling to get through lesson 8’s sheet she hasn’t been thrilled with this program. She used to love it. So, I’m going to try skipping a few words here and there with this next fluency sheet.

We haven’t done much with the handwriting lessons yet.  Her math includes some number writing and through this I have noticed some bad habits forming.  It seems to have gotten worse in just the two weeks of school so far.  The worksheets for math have narrow lines and she has a hard time with that.  The handwriting program uses much larger lined paper at this point which I think is a better fit for where she is right now.  I’m going to skip the writing worksheets in math for now and instead do them using the larger lined paper.

The little one has been quite a handful this week.  She was in a really cranky mood during the first part of the week and then woke up Thursday with a runny nose and cough.  That explained the bad mood.  I made some busy bags for her with activities for her to do during school time.  She seemed so excited to do these but nothing kept her attention for more than a few minutes.  So many homeschool bloggers seem to think this is such a huge help for entertaining little ones.   It hasn’t worked at all for us.  I haven’t given up yet but I’m a little disappointed.  Maybe my expectations were a little high.  She loves playing with the math manipulatives but it’s not enough to keep her attention the whole time.  It’s still early.  We’ll keep trying different things.   By the end of Friday, I brought out the iPad.  It seemed to work the best but she doesn’t have much experience using it so she kept getting stuck.  I think (hope) keeping her entertained will be easier once she’s feeling better.

Week 2 is now done.  We’re still finding our groove and figuring things out.  We had our first extra activity and sick days all in one week.  We have another extra activity coming up in about a week.  A local homeschool group hosts a monthly Princess Club gathering.  This month it’s a breakfast picnic in a park.  I think the girls will really enjoy it.


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